Who Needs Tomorrow? The Future is Today

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We are, without doubt, living in the future. Huge portions of our lives take place somewhere that doesn’t even exist, not in the physical sense, anyway. In our pockets and purses, we carry the kind of computing power that once couldn’t possibly be achieved by full rooms of machines, whirring away as hard as they could. We have a probe gathering data on the surface of another planet.

Another planet.

And here’s the strange thing, when you think about it: there is yet still more future to come. Technology evolves, so fast sometimes it feels as though it’s spinning ever outward toward things of which, from here, we can’t possibly conceive. Our culture, a much more slow-moving, plodding beast, struggles to keep up with it.

There times where I find myself remarking, often to myself, that I love living in the future. I love the internet and the universe it offers. I love easy information, once the treasure in a hunt through card catalogs and careful paging through indices, now in front of me at any time a question strikes my fancy.

It’s ironic, because I watch nearly every period drama that comes my way, studying the details, the nuances, the flavor and cadence of life in another era. Flounces and corsets and fringed dresses and circle skirts, whatever decade, whatever century, I watch them.

But not with any sense of nostalgia. Not with any longing for a time I’d be constantly be battling for breath against the crush of whale bones. Not for a time when transportation came with four legs and I’d be grateful for it.

It’s almost with a sense of relief, a sense of knowing how it could have been, and feeling lucky I live now, when every day confirms the future is now.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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Beating Shiny Thing Distraction

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If you can’t tell from the last few posts, my mind is already on November. Not that I want this year to fly by any faster than it has (and it really has) but because I am actually excited to get going on my NaNoWriMo (or in my case, NaNoFiMo challenge.

It’s one of my quirks, unfortunately, that I get distracted by new and shiny things, ones unspoiled by actual execution. But here’s how I think I got me right in the procrastination: I’ve made the old feel new again by setting it up in a whole different way.

It’s a contest with myself, and a way to push my finishing power all in one. And, even better, I completed another round of edits on my manuscript, so I think I’ll be ready to go once November 1 hits.

I should probably temper my excitement a little, though. Don’t want to use it all up before November.

We all have weaknesses, some larger than others, some more destructive than others. But we are creative people, and we can figure out creative solutions to deal with those weaknesses. Losing steam?

Create a new steam source.

Anyone else get easily distracted? What do you do?

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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How You Know It’s the Right Challenge

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So yesterday I blogged about the version of NaNoWriMo I’ll be doing, which I’ve dubbed NaNoFiMo, or National Novel Finishing Month. I plan to take cobwebby, partially-written manuscripts and finish them, while hitting at least 50,000 words in the process.

Is it technically a NaNo? Maybe, maybe not, but it’s exactly the challenge I need right now. In fact, I am feeling excited at the prospect (feel free to throw these words back at me around November 17).

Sometimes, in life, you need a challenge to spark something. There’s a rush of adrenaline that happens, even though the only thing that might be in danger with this kind of test is your word count. And, sometimes in life, the challenge you need is not necessarily the challenge everyone else needs. Or anyone else needs.

There’s a good chance this decision might leave me dizzy, or disoriented, as I leap from world to world, universe to universe, possibly genre to genre, depending on the partial first drafts that make the cut. But I know it’s the right challenge for me in this moment because I am absolutely ready to take it on.

Excited to take it on.

Writing is a tough sport (if poker is a sport, writing is a sport. There’s infinitely more bluffing). While there are physical restraints like the amount of time you can simply sit, or how quickly you can type, or how you feel after typing for hours, the biggest restraint is mental. Throwing the gauntlet in the face of no one but yourself offers a chance to really see what you can do.

Anyone else looking forward to NaNo? Cowering in fear? Ten days out, how are you feeling?

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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Doing NaNoWriMo? I’m Doing NaNoFiMo

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So the editing continues, but now I have a deadline. I think I’m going to do NaNoWriMo. But not in the traditional way, I’m going to cheat a little bit. Or a lot, whichever.

I have several unfinished manuscripts floating around my hard drive, and I think I’m going to dust some off, make sure they’re worth the effort, and finish them, racking up my 50,000 words in the process. I’ll be doing my very own NaNoFiMo.

Now I might set out to get a few done, start re-reading them, and decide I stopped writing them for good reason. Luckily, I have a slew of manuscripts in various stages, so if one seems like it’s not worth the effort, I can always move on to the next. One way or another, I’ll write 50,000 words in November.

I’ve always been a traditionalist when it comes to NaNo, so this marks a big change for me. But sometimes, it’s good to break out of routines, to veer away from that which has become habit. So I’m going to face this challenge with a brand-new twist and see how it goes.

Of course, on the morning of November 1, I could suddenly be inspired to write an utterly fresh, completely-yet-unthought-of book, and that’s one of the perks of NaNo. But as of now, it will be me and some old friends. Or frenemies. We’ll see.

Anyone else planning on a non-traditional NaNo?

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only).

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Guess Where I Am Today?

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More editingGo on, guess! That’s right, you got it. While I’m pushing through this next editing pass, don’t fear. You can always get one of my books, Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management, Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) to pass the time. You can even borrow them with Amazon Prime or read them for free with Kindle Unlimited. And Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities is just plain free. Enjoy, and see you back here soon.

 

 

The Social Contract Behind Door Number 3

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If you read this blog, you might know that I have a rather recent fascination with the game show reboot of “Let’s Make a Deal.” It’s partially because of the host, Wayne Brady, who is effortlessly funny without a trace of mean, and partially because the rest of the cast compliments him so well.

But a lot of it is for the contestants themselves. The show is a tribute to people good-natured enough to show up on national TV in creatively odd costumes and swoon at the idea that they might win anything. Anything at all. The whole thing is imbued with kind of optimism I wish I had, an optimism we could all use in our lives.

The last time I watched, though, I was really taken by the show of disappointment when a contestant might have won something, but didn’t. It doesn’t matter what it was, or how ill-suited it might have been for them, or how unlikely they were to use it, every single person who could have had one thing but got something else acts as though they are genuinely sorry to missed out.

Even when they clearly aren’t.

And maybe that’s part of my attraction to the show, it’s like watching the best parts of the social contract we have with one another in a polite society play out in lurid colors with impromptu songs. We say please and thank you. We appreciate the effort. We are grateful for what we are given when it doesn’t need to be given at all, and best of all, we simply enjoy the experience.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

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Autumn Calling

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I wish autumn was longer. Of course, I could just as well say I wish the days didn’t get shorter, or the sun would rise just a little more to the left, but still, I do. The transformation seasons here in Chicago are the city at its most graceful, shrugging off the heavy coat of winter in the spring, and slipping it back on again in the fall.

There is that crispness that belongs only to autumn, found on fresh, new mornings, which doesn’t last. It gives way to more and more frigid air, until the freshness is dried right out of it. And the leaves, showing off their fiery colors, quickly escape the trees, finding new homes underfoot and on the roofs and windows of parked cars.

But perhaps the brevity is what makes it so beautiful. Maybe it’s the truth that autumn is the embodiment of transience, we are watching change with each day. Winter hulks over the city for months, planting itself firmly, refusing to budge. Summer makes its presence known and revels in all the novelty it brings.

But fall and spring, they’re seasons on the way to something else. And they seem to know it, so they give us all the glory they have to offer, fast and delicate, before they are gone.

Check out  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only) .

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!